So apparently I only write on birthdays.
8 years ago today, in a hospital in Washington DC, I birthed my baby boy. Well, they surgically removed him, but hey, I was there, and it wasn’t a walk in the park that way either.
We started excited to get up and go that morning to head over to the hospital that was an hour away from our apartment. We were told to call first to ensure no emergencies had happened that would push the surgery back. We called and were told that my 11:30 had been cancelled as I had already had the baby via emergency C-section.
Wait…what? I looked down. I was pretty sure I was still pregnant. Nope, he hadn’t fallen out feet first since that’s the way he was positioned.
Turns out when you have a very generic name, thanks Irish husband, other Jennifers also give birth on that very same day. Apparently, with the very same birthday as well. Except for the year. SHE was older. But hey, once you verify same name, month and day, the year is just an oversight. Didn’t matter, this kid was COMING OUT TODAY. I was done being pregnant. I hadn’t eaten all day and wanted to meet my son.
So they squeezed us in and by 3 p.m. Bear was born. It was not fun. Unknown to me at the time, I had placenta accreta, which meant that my placenta had attached itself to my uterine wall. Bleck. So, if my stubborn son hadn’t been feet first and unwilling to move, I would have been in serious trouble after delivery. So kid, I owe you one. You saved me that day.
The birth was just the beginning. I had spent an immense amount of time reading about MY pregnancy, MY body, MY delivery, and so on, that I kind of overlooked the whole taking care of a brand new person task that was now staring me in the face. They pulled him out, he gave the best wail I’d ever heard, and my husband looked at me the same way I looked at him. With wide eyed terror. What had we just done?! There was no going back now. This little person needed us to keep him alive. What the hell did we JUST DO?
I panicked, like all good mothers. Realized that the idea of being a mother comes instinctively is total and utter BS. I had no idea what I was doing. No instincts kicked in. I was totally and utterly knocked off my feet. I guess literally too because the anesthesiologist must have gotten to go home that day, because the idiots left my epidural in for 24 straight hours, which at the time I did not realize was not normal because hey, I was new to this whole motherhood, giving birth thing.
So there I was, numb from the boobs down, trying to take care of my son and be mother of the year just a few hours in. Mark and my mom were there, but there was no place to sleep, so each night they left me and Bear to drive the hour back to the apartment. Go ahead, I can handle it I assured them. I am SUPERMOM! I can’t feel my feet, but I can take care of this baby by myself! That was the first time I tried to handle motherhood all by myself and failed miserably.
By the second night, I hadn’t slept a wink because I was convinced he would stop breathing at any given moment, and tearfully called a nurse at 11:30. Will you…sniff hiccup sob…take him to the nursery…sob…for just a bit??? Sob hiccup…I’m not a bad mom…hiccup…I swear….hiccup…will you love him if he cries??? She assured me he wouldn’t be ignored in a corner, to get some sleep, and they would bring him to me when it was time to eat. Sure enough, they did. I slept a few hours. He hasn’t gone to therapy yet for the separation, so I think it was ok.
On the third day, they kicked us to the curb and I was happy to go. I had hubby and mom to support me 24 hours a day and the security and comfort of home waiting for me.
After some bumps in the road, he was breastfeeding well. Until I got a raging UTI from the catheter being in so long and had to go on some heavy antibiotics for 10 days. Pump and dump they say. Sure, no big deal, I’m three days in, I’m a pro. So, every two hours, I pumped two boobs empty, and dumped that precious tainted gold down the drain. 10 days later, all clear of painful peeing, I went back to nursing my 7 pound bundle of joy. Who, by the way DID NOT drink the 12+ ounces of boob milk I had been pumping and dumping every 2 hours for 10 days. I was in so much pain I think I would have fed anyone who asked just for some relief. I could have seriously supplied much of a third world nation with the supply I was generating. Needless to say, we got some backup supply while my body and I figured out what he actually needed.
So that was my first 2 weeks of being a first time mother. How did yours go? After all that, I wouldn’t trade a day of it. My son is one of the smartest, funniest, most handsome boys I know. I am blown away each day at his wit, brains, and thought processes. He is crafting his own brand of sarcasm that will one day rival my own. He asks questions that would stump Stephen Hawking, let alone get an answer from me.
We had a rough start at the beginning, but it was well worth the blood, sweat and tears. He’s my hero. And one day, we’ll live in his guest house in Malibu, because he loves his parents and wants to share his millions. Right Bear??
PS – Trying not to freak out, but I went back to insert pics tonight and couldn’t find anything before 2008. MARK!!!! The computer’s broken!!!